A news report released statistics a few years back stating that four out of ten drivers that have been pulled aside for driving under the influence (DUI) in Fort Myers, FL., have refused to take a breathalyzer test. If you hold a Fort Myers driving license, then under Florida law, you have effectively given consent to be stopped to carry out a physical or chemical test if suspected of DUI. This is why it comes as a shock to those working in law enforcement that some drivers refuse to carry out a routine DUI check. The state of Florida takes the matter of DUI very seriously, hence why Florida Statute 316.1932 was put in place. This statute stipulates that if you refuse to carry out a breath test that it could be used against you in court as it makes you look guilty.
If a police officer pulls you over, as they believe you are driving under the influence, they may ask you to carry out various tests other than a breathalyzer test. As stated under the consent law, you may be asked to take a urine test, a blood test, or a field sobriety test. If you refuse to carry out a test, then you face a year suspension of your driving license. This would only be the case if the police officer that pulled you over had a valid reason as to why they did so, giving them a reason to arrest you. Yet, if your pullover proves to be unlawful, then you won’t be held accountable for refusing the test, meaning that your license will not be suspended.
Following a potential suspension of your driving license, you have the right to a court hearing. This gives you a chance to potentially dismiss the driving license suspension. However, if you are found guilty, you will serve a minimum of ninety days where you cannot drive, not even for work or business purposes. In some scenarios, you may be able to apply for a work/business license, but you will still be required to pay a fee and attend a DUI school.
If you believe that you have been wrongly accused of DUI or need assistance with a breathalyzer test court case, then contact a Fort Myers criminal defense attorney at The Law Place today on (941) 444-4444 and arrange a free consultation.
Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test
In Florida, if you have been convicted for the first time for driving under the influence, then you can attend Florida’s diversion program. Unfortunately, this program is not available in every county across Florida but is available in Lee County, Fort Myers. However, if you have refused to take a breathalyzer test or other form of the test, then you will not be eligible for the program. In short, if you are co-operative and take the test, then you are entitled to attend the program, which will lessen the sentence you will receive.
If you attend the pre-trial diversion program in Fort Myers, you might be asked to attend DUI school, where you will take a victim’s awareness program, or alternately you will have to carry out community service. There will still be a monetary fine that will need to be paid, but the charges will be dropped upon completing the pre-trial diversion program. Furthermore, if you wish, you can also petition in court for the charges to be taken off your driving record.
For a free legal consultation with a breath test refusal lawyer serving Fort Myers, call 941-444-4444
Penalties for Refusing to Submit to a Breathalyzer Test in Fort Myers, Florida
As previously stated, upon refusing an initial breathalyzer test, you could face a license suspension for up to a year. Consequently, if you refuse on multiple occasions, then the suspension will increase up to eighteen months. Also, upon refusing on multiple occasions, you could also face a jail sentence. Is it worth refusing when the consequences could be potentially far worse and will affect you in the future?
Fort Myers Breath Test Refusal Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Why Should You Carry Out the Breathalyzer Test in Fort Myers, Florida?
If you are pulled over by law enforcement in Fort Myers, Florida, the police officer in question should expect full cooperation. At the end of the day, they are simply carrying out their job. If you deny cooperation, you will most certainly look guilty, which in turn will most likely result in a fine.
However, it has been found that sometimes the equipment used to take a breath reading can be inaccurate. This is because the machine cannot differentiate between the amount of residual alcohol content in the mouth and the alcohol content that is in the lungs. Meaning that traces of alcohol left in the mouth can result in a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading. Florida Statute 327.354 states that it is illegal to drive if your blood alcohol content is 0.8% over the limit.
In brief, you may not be over the legal limit, but still have a reading that comes back over the limit. But, if you believe that not taking the breathalyzer test will exempt you from receiving a DUI charge, think again. In the face of the court, with a statement from a police officer that is convinced that you were over the limit due to erratic driving, the refusal to take the test will be used against you.
Contact The Law Place
There are various factors to consider if you are facing a DUI charge in Fort Myers, Florida. It is highly recommended to have a knowledgeable Fort Myers criminal defense attorney who can aid you with the criminal defense DUI charges. Criminal defense charges can have severe repercussions.
Having a Fort Myers criminal record could prevent various future opportunities, such as renting, getting a loan, or finding a job. Furthermore, monetary charges will include the cost of fines and your motor vehicle insurance increasing. In order to avoid such severe consequences, it is advisable to seek advice from a Fort Myers criminal defense lawyer. To speak to a lawyer regarding your DUI charge, call us today at (941) 444-4444.